05/24/2012 10:07 am ET

10 Lessons I Learned From Sara Blakely That You Won't Hear In Business School

At last week's inspiring National Association of Professional Women's 2nd annual networking conference, I had the opportunity to attend the keynote presentation of Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx. In her one-hour talk, Sara highlighted her fascinating journey from launching a start-up with $5000 in savings to becoming the youngest self-made female billionaire in history. Anyone who's heard Sara's story knows it’s exhilarating and motivating, but to see her live brings a new dimension to her story. She's fresh, exuberant, funny and completely passionate about helping women feel and look their best, and about reforming all of the misguided trends that have kept in women in painful and ill-fitting undergarments over the last 50 years.

Sara delivers surprise after surprise in her tale of phenomenal entrepreneurial success. As I love to be "contrarian" in my work, I'm very taken with her non-conventional lessons that fly in the face of all the best business school advice we received from the business pundits and gurus.

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